Rebates take center stage in Indy
Indianapolis -- Do it Best Corp. distributed more than a $100 million in member rebates during the co-op's annual shareholders meeting Sunday night.
It was the 11th consecutive year of $100 million-plus rebates, and another chance for CEO Bob Taylor to present his state-of-the company report -- emphasis on members growing their business and overcoming challenges.
Fiscal discipline factored heavily in the presentation, as Taylor pointed to an industry-leading sales per employee of $1.9 million and a one-time, under-budget opening of a Sikeston, Missouri, distribution center. Discipline held operating expenses for the year to 2.05% after inventory capitalization, enabling the year-end rebate of $115.4 million, Taylor said.
"At the end of the day, it all comes down to how we manage overhead," Taylor said. "And we’ve done a phenomenal job in keeping our operating costs low so that our members’ return is even higher -- a return that allows them to invest in new inventory, store growth and opportunity for the future."
So far this year, Do it Best sales are running up about 8%, he said.
"Judging from my conversations and the activity out on the market floor this weekend, members are clearly optimistic and focused forward," Taylor said. "The housing market is steadily improving, business is up, and you’re busy making plans to take advantage of the opportunity."
Taylor celebrated remodeled stores and boosted sales at Rogers Do it Best in Sparta, Michigan; Huntington Lumber in Hazelhurst, Mississippi; and Escalante (Utah) Do it Best Home Center. Special mention went to Building Depot Do it Best of Curacao, which was devastated by a fire, and will reopen in November with more product and retail space of 220,000 sq. ft.
Other points from the wide-ranging presentation include:
Channellock sales are up 57% year to date, on top of a 26% sales increase last year;
Five new category planograms were introduced at the October market;
More than 1,200 members are sharing POS data with Do it Best;
A new consumer-facing doitbest.com e-commerce site is scheduled to launch Nov. 10; and
The co-op has lined up 157 store improvement projects for fiscal 2015.